Leaving no Scrub Unturned

This week, I am going to teach you how to pick the Asparagus acutifolius in the Italian fashion. How about that? Oh, by the way, the Asparagus acutifolius is more commonly known as “wild asparagus”, a herbaceous, perennial plant found throughout the Mediterranean basin. The Latin name acutifolius means “thorny leaves”.

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The Contemporary Mountain

“Have you ever been to the Arte Sella  biodegradable exhibition, Katharina?
–        The what? Biodegradable exhibition?! Where on earth is that being held? And for how long? If it’s biodegradable, I guess we have to hurry if we want to see it!”

My reply made my friend laugh. “No, we don’t have to hurry”, he said.

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A Bad Day with a Happy Ending

There are days – like yesterday, for instance – when everything goes wrong. I’m sure that you experience such unpleasant days once in a while. I won’t tell you about yesterday here – I still have to recover from it, – but about that one day I spent in Lucca, Tuscany, last October.

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One of Siena’s Secret Gems

Off the beaten track… You want to be surprised and discover little gems when you travel? My one piece of advice: go off the beaten track. Take the back roads and back alleys. Venture off the tourist routes. Nowhere is this more evident than in Siena, one of Italy’s most visited cities.

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My Tailor is… in Umbria

“I think it’s high time I bought a new suit, Katharina! Would you accompany me to my tailor’s boutique to help me choose? I trust your taste.”

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The hot air balloon competition – Conversation with country estate owner Francesca Papafava – Part 3

Attentive readers will not have missed the fact that I have continued my conversation with Francesca Papafava; owner of the Country Estate Frassanelle. We discussed the topics of history, tradition, the future and future aims. I asked Francesca again, what particular memories she had of her ancestors.

Francesca: Yes, as a child in Frassanelle I mainly looked up to my Grandfather. Continue Reading →

One of Sardinia’s Secret Stories

Last year, I went to spend a few days at our Villa dell’Orso in Sardinia. Featured in our Trust&Travel rental catalogue, this villa is situated at the northern tip of Sardinia, on the famous Capo d’Orso headland, an unspoiled and protected stretch of coast known for its crystal clear water and smooth granite rocks in the most peculiar shapes.

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Tuscany’s Famous Marble Quarries

Victor Hugo once wrote: “Dear God, how beauty varies in nature and art! In a woman the flesh must be like marble, and in a statue the marble must be like flesh.” Continue Reading →

Tuscan Bath in Women’s Bay

It was in June, last spring. My husband, daughter and I were in the Maremma, and friends of ours were visiting us with their two children. One morning, we decided to go to the town of Orbetello, all of us, to do some shopping and sightseeing. Continue Reading →

Tuscany’s Olive Oil Celebrations

“Buona bruschetta, Katharina!
–        Buona what?
–        Buona bruschetta! You’ve never heard this before?!”

No, I had never heard this greeting phrase before – I think I was in my late twenties back then. Its equivalent in English would probably be something like “Happy Toast” or “Happy Toasted Bread”. Continue Reading →


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